'Complete Smart-Meter' SoC combines metrology, security, and communication, says Maxim Integrated

Planegg, Germany. October 08, 2012 — Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. has introduced Zeus, which it says is an advance in integration and security protection for the smart grid. Zeus is a complete smart meter system-on-a-chip (SoC) that offers highly accurate metrology, multiple layers of security, and plenty of processing horsepower for today’s advanced communication protocols.

As smart meters become more connected, the need for security is paramount to protect against energy theft and cyber attacks on the grid. Zeus provides meter manufacturers with a platform for development in multiple end markets, supporting a wide range of security and communication requirements. A built-in cryptographic module secures communication; a secure bootloader prevents unauthorised firmware modification; and tamper detection assures providers that any attempts to physically attack the meter will be detected, recorded, and reported.

Among the advantages claimed for ZEUS are:

* Superior metering accuracy: multiple ADC channels each run at 10ksps, offering 0.1% accuracy over a 5,000:1 dynamic range
* Future-proofing to support tomorrow’s applications: uses a 120MHz ARM® Cortex M3 application processor and a 40MHz, 32-bit MAXQ30 microcontroller with DSP support for the metering function
* A multicore architecture supports WELMEC separation of legally relevant and irrelevant functions to ease validation

“Zeus is finally the answer for a complete smart meter SoC,” said Kris Ardis, business director for smart grid products at Maxim Integrated. “By combining metrology, security and communication, we provide a platform for any embedded smart grid equipment that needs to measure, to communicate, and to do it securely. The capabilities in ZEUS will give utilities and meter manufacturers a flexible platform that can support tomorrow’s requirements today.”

The Zeus platform includes the MAX71616, MAX71617, MAX71636, and MAX71637. Maxim is previewing the Zeus platform at Metering, Billing/CRM Europe (Amsterdam, October 9-11, Booth C46) and electronica (Munich, November 13-16, Hall A6, booth 163). In fiscal year 2012 Maxim Integrated (NASDAQ: MXIM) reported revenues of US$2.4 billion.

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